If you are interested in planning a walking holiday in Devon in 2024, here are our suggestions of where to stay to access various parts of the path. There is no set way to walk the path and wherever you choose to start, you’ll find plenty of fascinating towns, villages and landmarks.
For those of you starting in North Devon, there are routes beginning at Lynmouth, with a popular walk taking you through to Combe Martin and then onto Woolacombe, where you’ll find everything you would expect from a seaside resort. For easy access to the path, all the region’s attractions and the coast, book a stay at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park.
Unlike other holiday parks, Combe Martin’s offers a quiet, peaceful place to stay and is a haven for pet owners and walkers. The site has its own walking routes through the surrounding woodland, private beach and easy access to the South West Coast Path.
Image: Combe Martin Holiday Park
If you’d rather stay closer to Woolacombe and explore the parts of the path heading towards Braunton and Instow, you can stay at Parkdean’s Ruda park, which is located near Croyde – the region’s favourite surfing beach. From here, you’ll see one of the most spectacular views in the county and the park has plenty of facilities, perfect for keeping the whole family entertained and close to various points along the South West Coast Path.
Another option at this end of the path and giving you easy access to the Instow – Westward Ho! is Moreton House. This Grade II listed house offers four luxury apartments, giving you a real home from home. The house has a 5 acre garden surrounding it and there are pet friendly rooms, as well as wheelchair accessible options. As parts of the South West Coast Path have been adapted for use with wheelchairs and trampers, everyone is able to explore.
Alternatively, Parkdean’s Bideford Bay resort gives you easy access to both the South West Coast Path and a selection of local attractions, including Clovelly. There is even a route on the path linking Westward Ho! to Clovelly, which will give you a whole new view of the region. As you might expect from Parkdean, Bideford Bay features a host of exciting activities for the parents and kids alike, as well as affordable accommodation options and facilities suitable for all travellers, it’s a great way to traverse the Path and explore the North Devon coastline without breaking the bank.
Perhaps one of the most dramatic parts of the South West Coast Path is the route that will take you from Clovelly up to Hartland Quay. A popular place to stay while using this part of the Path is the Hartland Quay Hotel, which sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Not only are there comfortable rooms available for longer stays, but the hotel’s restaurants are an excellent place to stop off for some refreshments. The menus are full of locally sourced food and drink and for anyone who likes fitting in multiple walks while on holiday, you’ll find a selection around the hotel itself.
Now we’ve covered some of the places to stay along the North Devon section of the path, let’s take a look at the parts of the route that sit about South and East Devon. Following the Path, you can go from Plymouth through to Sidmouth, a distance of around 104 miles.
One of our favourite stretches of the South West Coast Path through South Devon is the walk from Bigbury on Sea, where you can experience the delights of the sea tractors and the enigmatic Burgh Island, through to Salcombe. The Salcombe area of South Devon is unrivalled in its beauty and is hugely popular in the summer months, so make sure to book your trip out of season to avoid the crowds. For somewhere to stay that really takes advantage of those views and gives you lots of space to explore, take a look at Ocean Reach Holiday Homes. Located within the National Trust’s Bolberry Down, part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty you can enjoy views across the bay, sometimes seeing all the way to Lizard Point. These properties are a real home from home and come with all the essentials, including tea, coffee, sugar and milk, so you can look forward to a restorative cup of something warm after spending the day out exploring.
Image: View from balcony at Ocean Reach Holiday Homes
If you’re exploring more of the English Riviera area of the South West Coast Path, you can enjoy walks around Brixham and Babbacombe, from which you can enjoy the attractions and eateries of Torquay and Paignton, as well as the beaches.
Babbacombe Palms is a former Victorian terrace now running as a guest house that is dog friendly and is just a few minutes from Babbacombe Downs and the access to the South West Coast Path. What could be better than starting your day with one of their incredible breakfasts, full of locally sourced ingredients, like Devon back bacon and sausages from Tiverton.
Seasoned walkers will no doubt be happy to follow the route from Babbacombe all the way through to Exmouth and Sidmouth in East Devon, where you can experience the impressive Jurassic Coast. Along the route from Exmouth to Sidmouth, you’ll find Ladram Bay Holiday Park which is located on the outskirts of Budleigh Salterton and has some truly impressive rock formations which are viewable from the park itself. There is even private access down to the bay and join the Jurassic Coast walks from here, as well as the South West Coast Path and explore the nearby towns like Ottery St Mary and Budleigh.
Image: Ladram Bay Holiday Park
For those of you who would rather the privacy of a holiday cottage, book a stay at Higher Wiscombe, which will allow you to visit the parts of the path that lead you through Sidmouth and onto Seaton. With stunning rural views and being only a short distance from the coast, these cottages are designed with sustainability in mind and regularly win green tourism awards. The cottages are also dog friendly and can accommodate groups of up to 32 – so are a great option for larger groups or families who want to spend their time walking and visiting some of the nearby attractions.
Like the sound of booking a walking holiday and exploring the South West Coast Path in 2024? Find more accommodation options below.